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The Word, The Truth

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Gospel Reflection by Archbishop Socrates B; Villgas for the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 23, 2023 on the Drag Singing of the Ama Namin

My dear brothers and sisters in the Church of Lingayen Dagupan:
Wheat and weeds sprouted together putting the wheat at risk (Mt 13:24 to 30). Before they sprung and grew together in the same field, both wheat and weeds were first small seeds. The seeds were sown by the farmer. The seeds of the weeds were sown by the enemy. But remember: Both good and evil started small. Both good and evil were sown unto the same field. Although they came from different hands, they grew from the same soil. Weeds harm wheat. Wheat stems do not harm weeds.A few weeks ago, mainstream and social media carried the video of a mockery of the Ama Namin as it was sung in a drag contest of a group that call themselves queer community. Protests were expressed. The viral video was slammed as blasphemous and grossly disrespectful.

To a certain extent, the video was a shocking scandal but it was bound to reach this untested limit in time. This video was a plunge into a deeper cliff of vulgar blasphemy. It was bound to happen in time. When did we see it coming?

The seeds for this scandalous video were already planted in the field when we allowed vulgarity by high leaders in government to become a joking matter. Our cooperative indifference and supportive laughter, as we heard those vulgarities, make us accomplices in blasphemy. This was a small beginning like the seed of weeds.

The small seeds were already planted when we chose cowardly silence as God was cursed by the highest government official. We giggled and later on voted for more officials who support such vulgarity. We were in cahoots. The seeds were planted then.

The seeds of this blasphemy were already sown by the enemies of God when the Church and our bishops were threatened with murder and called obscene and irreverent names and we quietly conspired. Loud vulgar mouths wanted Gospel teaching lips to be mute. We preferred vulgar lips to teach us instead. We conspired by our silence. We planted bad seeds.

A drag song and dance against the Ama Namin offends indeed but some matters are more offensive than this.
We call God our Father but do not treat one another as brothers and sisters? We call God our Father but nodded with approval when drug addicts were killed? Killing others made our lives safer? Is that the way to worship God as Father? They are seeds of the weeds.

Our lips pray “Hallowed be your name” and yet our hands on our gadgets confect calumny and gossip and slander? Is God’s name adored by our fake news? We have even baptized gossipers and rumor mongers as Marites. These are seeds of the weeds.

We beg Him “to give us our daily bread” but accept money to sell our votes? Is God honored when we tolerate and benefit from the stolen money of public servants? Is not our acceptance of the culture of graft and plunder of public money a greater blasphemy of the Ama Namin? These are seeds of the weeds.

We ask God “to forgive us” and yet we have chosen to solve our social problems by the “extra judicial” way (outside the court of law) by killing and later covering up for the murderers of those who were never proven guilty? How can the defenders of mass murderers and crimes against humanity pray to ask God for forgiveness when their lifestyle is its exact opposite?

In the end, we ask “In what ways have I contributed to the vulgarity and blasphemy, desecration and profanity of language and lewdness of action against the Ama Namin?”

If we are honest and humble enough, we should be ready to admit that we planted the seeds of weeds in the past by our indifference, cowardice and connivance. The weeds came from me. The enemy is me. I must now change MYSELF first. What great changes each of us must make! ***

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Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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